House of the week: Mizen Head, West Cork, €285,000

If you really do want to get away from it all, the madding crowd and the beach scene bustle, then pack up your troubles, and go to Kit’s Cottage.

House of the week: Mizen Head, West Cork, €285,000

Called after a previous owner, this upgraded yet still traditional West Cork stone home has character in spades, as well as peace and tranquility.

“You can stay as quiet as you like here, but if you do want to talk to someone, there are neighbours a walk away up the road,” suggests estate agent Micheál Duggan of Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill in Skibbereen town.

He’s selling Kit’s Cottage for its owners who live in Portlaoise and who bought this renovated hideaway home on the Mizen Head peninsula back in 2006, at the end of one of the country’s most dramatic ocean headlands, where Ireland tips into the thundering Atlantic.

You won’t see America from Kit’s Cottage, which is sited on the northern side of this peninsula a few miles out from Goleen; but, thanks to a large picture window in the ‘new’ stone kitchen annex, you can see Dunmanus Bay, the horn of the Sheep’s Head, Beara Peninsula and distant hills: in summer, it’s extraordinary, in winter it’s still extraordinary, and bracing, and breath-taking, says Mr Duggan.

He says the setting is on the quiet side of Mizen but, for families who need to keep it all social, there are the communities of Ballydehob, Goleen, and Crookhaven, plus the summer swells at the golden beaches of Barley Cove, and the award-wining visitor centre at the Mizen signal station five miles away which attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe.

That success-story tourism centre will attract more and more people as the Wild Atlantic Way gains yet more traction, and the top-to-toe Ireland trip of Malin to Mizen — Ireland’s magnetic poles for voyagers — rightly gains even more kudos and currency.

Once reached, Kit’s Cottage (called after an earlier long-time owner, Christopher) is a respite from travel, and stands on a half acre, with lots of reworked stone and rubble walls around its approach, and features exposed stone outside on its kitchen annexe, and internally in particular on the first floor, now all made over as a large 19’ by 18’ master bedroom, with a small bathroom off.

Stripping back the internal render to show some old-school masonry construction has given huge character to this upstairs retreat, but the downside is most likely expected heat loss. However, the BER is an E1, not too scanty for a century-old dwelling.

Also adding to the feel up here are the exposed roof beams and panelled ceilings.

The work was essentially done by the previous owner who sold to the current owners in 2006, and it features bespoke kitchen units in Sycamore, and the floors and doors and some other joinery are in Douglas Fir.

The ground floor has a 17’ by 11’ living room, with wood-burning stove and sloping, wood-panelled ceiling, with Velux and French doors, and the room then links to the 15’ by 11’ kitchen, with its super-chunky Sycamore units and thick worktops.

Also on ground level is the old central hall, and two compact, cabin-sized bedrooms plus another bathroom.

Kit’s Cottage has central heating, plus that stove, and windows are double glazed in hardwood frames — although one original window has been kept, seen in pride of place in a hall entrance where the roof now slopes to original eaves height, meaning the old first-floor window now has its own external wrap-around.

Starting viewings, and expecting Irish and UK interest, Mr Duggan says it’s perfect for second-home use, or for retirees, and says his office is getting calls from couples in Dublin and Cork looking for a place in a beauty spot like the Mizen.

“It would be ideal for an artist or a writer, it’s so quiet, and even though the beaches are back by Barley Cove, there’s access to the water for swims or boats at nearby Dooneen Coss pier, which is a walk away,” Mr Duggan adds.

VERDICT: There seems to be great integrity in the way several successive owners have minded and upgraded Kit’s Cottages, as it’s got creature comforts, and respect for traditional materials. It’s not for everyone, but will be the perfect fit for a buyer seeking peace and quiet

Mizen Head, West Cork


Size: Sq m105 (1,138 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2


Best Feature: Tranquillity

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